The film is based on the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry that was made up entirely of African American men which was the first of its kind. The story is told through the eyes of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who was the unit’s commanding officer during the American Civil War.
Colonel Shaw was the main character who displayed all the qualities of an effective leader that we discussed in class. If I had to describe what type of leader Colonel Shaw was I would describe him as a transformational leader. Transformational leaders are under the assumption that people will follow them because their inspiring. They are the type of person that have vision and passion and they believe the way to get things done is by injecting enthusiasm and energy.
Colonel Shaw had a vision of training an all black infantry with honor, pride and the skills to go into combat and fight for the rights they deserve. He sold his vision to black soldiers and to his upper command who still did not think black men were capable of being good soldiers.
In the beginning of the film Colonel Shaw is asked to lead an all black company of union soldiers which he accepted. Accepting a position of that nature was very unpopular of that time but being a leader as Colonel Shaw was, he saw the significant contributions that could be made. His main focus was winning the war for the Union, not gaining self gratitude by becoming a colonel or the benefits that came along with the position.
As the leader of the Union soldiers Colonel Shaw made sure to staff his unit by strengths. His commanders were not your typical well rounded individuals but individuals who were strong in a particular area for which they were put in those positions so they could succeed. A good example in the film is when Colonel Shaw realized that his second in command Cabot Forbes was not doing a good job of training the unit for combat. He then brought in Sergeant Major Mulcahy, an Irish drill instructor, to teach the...